Senate Rules Reform: Udall, Harkin, Merkley Remind Us Why Washington Doesn’t Take Liberals Seriously

By: Wednesday January 26, 2011 12:40 pm

With their total capitulation on Senate rules reform, Sen. Tom Udall (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Tom Harkin (D-IA) again remind us why no one in Washington takes liberals seriously. . . and frankly why they shouldn’t. For months, Udall has been promoting the “Constitutional Option,” which would allow the senators to declare the first [...]

Franken Wants to End Filibuster by Vacation

By: Thursday January 6, 2011 2:49 pm

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is trying to gain support for a modest proposal to change Senate rules to deal with the issue of filibuster support by proxy. The current arrangement allows Senators to support a filibuster even while on a tropical vacation. The rules regarding cloture in the Senate are unlike almost any other rules [...]

New Senate Rules Could Mean Important New Precedents

By: Friday December 31, 2010 10:39 am

The Senate is run on precedent as much as it is governed by its official rules. Precedents will sometimes almost directly contradict the actual rules but the precedents actually govern the behavior of the chamber. In fact, using a ruling from the chair upheld by a simple majority, the Senate can set a precedent that [...]

Dems Decry Hostage-Taking – Is It Real Conviction or Convenient Rhetoric?

By: Wednesday December 15, 2010 11:02 am

Calling the behavior of Republicans “hostage taking” has become the new buzz phrase used by both President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders. It is a decent analogy for how the Senate Republicans have exploited the Senate’s rules. The 41 Senate Republicans have used the filibuster and the other horribly broken rules of the chamber to [...]

Dick Durbin Backs Filibuster Reform

By: Friday February 12, 2010 9:45 am

Senator Dick Durbin, the Democratic Party Whip, has just thrown his weight behind an effort by Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Jeanne Shahenn (D-NH) to reform the filibuster. From Greg Sargent: Durbin spokesman Joe Shoemaker confirms to me that the Senator supports the new effort, which was unveiled yesterday by Senators Tom Harkin, and Jeanne Shaheen. [...]

Sherrod Brown Endorses Fixing The Broken Senate, Changing The Rules On Filibuster

By: Thursday February 4, 2010 10:28 am

Last night on the Rachel Maddow Show, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) came out in support of Sen. Tom Udall’s (D-NM) effort to change the Senate’s rules to fix the dysfunctional institution and restore majority rule: Rachel Maddow: Is it your sense that your caucus, the Democrats in the Senate are will to look at a [...]